Weathering the Storm

I don’t know how much my blogs help anyone, but I hope they reach the hearts of some.

I think we all have a ministry and perhaps this is mine.

For me it’s  finding balance in my life. Balance to do the things I want to do while caring or meeting the needs of others while not sacrificing what’s important.

Relationships are important. When we go off kilter, we can lose that and it’s not always about the other person.  This is something we can fix in ourselves to find an even plane (a wood work term here) that will enable us to function not just in our best interest but in the interest of others…

I went to a “workshop” that in reality was a networking event and walked away with so much, perhaps more than was intended but maybe that was what I needed or could use.

The event was titled “Navigating Hollywood”.  What I walked away with is… It’s not about me!

Hollywood draws close to if not more than 11,000 people each year hoping to “make it”. By the following year that number has dropped considerably, but then add what’s left to the next 11,000 then the number you’re competing with grows exponentially.

So who makes it?

First of all, this blog isn’t just about making it in Hollywood but about making it in life.  I got to relating what I was learning to what I’d learned in my marriage.  I’ve been married three times. The last one has lasted the longest and has been the most rewarding.

Why?

I learned how to do things differently. I learned by paying attention to those closest to me however harsh they may have been.

Lesson #1

What’s important is building a relationship from the inside out.  From our heart to their heart. They are not the enemy.

I am OCD and I will be perfectly honest, I can be hypercritical and quite harsh.  Partly because of my history.  I hunger for praise and positive strokes from others and worry sometimes about not meeting their criteria or expectations. Sometimes I tried too hard. When you do that you’re making it about you.

Lesson #2

What is your why?

What are your motives? Do you stretch to the point of breaking because you want to “impress” others?  Are you seeking glory and praise? Because your good deeds will earn you lots of praise from your outside circle but what  about the praises from those inside?

It can get ugly.  My oldest daughter socked me in the gut one time when she haughtily came back at me when I complained about her ingratitude and those of her siblings.  “Is that why you do it? Do you do it because you want people (us) to “like” you? If so, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons”.  Yikes!!

Everyone wants to be liked.

Finally, Lesson #3

It’s give and take. If you want something badly enough what are you willing to give up to have it?   Your values? Time, Money?” “your family?”  Your marriage? It’s not just about you.

Granted some people are easier to support than others. But one thing is this.

Not all “Good Deeds” are “Good”

If they sap all your energy it isn’t good. For awhile, I volunteered with Red Cross. Great organization BTW. I volunteered to be the military liaison,  I volunteered to help create a military support group for the Iraqi soldiers deployed and their families I volunteered to teach disaster training and to go out on disasters which included working Katrina for some of the most abusive, ungrateful bunch of people I ever met. Notice I said “some”, unfortunately they were in the majority because I also worked and met some very appreciative people.

It made me feel valued.

In the meantime, I bent over backwards to be available to my children, who at the time were not terribly appreciative of even my existence. So, when my parents got ill I left the area and went to Alabama to care for them, parents who were also neither entitled nor appreciative and I was trying to do it alone. What was I thinking?

To add icing to this already horribly “rich” cake, I had to work so I got a job at a health department, where I dealt with some very immoral, seedy characters of the entitlement strata.  (Again, I’m not referring to everyone but the large majority  of which obviously stuck in my craw.)  At one point, I broke down.  My spirit was dashed and I felt beaten up. I was angry and surly and no matter how much I did, those closest to me didn’t get it. (It never occurred to me that if I was angry and surly, I obviously wasn’t being fulfilled anyway). (Back to #2 – what is your why?)

My husband said it quite succinctly.  “You can’t save the world“. It doesn’t mean you do nothing, it means you don’t do it alone.   I finally had to swallow my pride and consent to enlisting the aid of someone else. My sister.

I was thinking of some of the actors that act up or do good deeds in Hollywood. They really want to be liked or noticed no matter what whether unplanned or contrived.

Make friends, not enemies of those closest to you. Just because you want something doesn’t mean they do and if it hurts your relationship then maybe it’s not the right time or the right thing for you or your relationship. Your wants are negotiable.  Notice, I said right time.

The Bible states, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” ECCL 3 and

” All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful but not all things edify” 1 COR 10:23

I know some of the things I got to do would not have been appropriate early in our marriage. I had two kids who had to adjust to a step parent and a divorce that hit them hard. I  had to “be there” for my kids and husband as they worked through some of this stuff. I had stuff to work through in myself so that I could give them each the best I could offer. It wasn’t and isn’t easy, but that cord of silk will be stronger merged together than apart.

This is when communication is key.  Maybe right now is not the right time.  Express your wants and desires calmly.  Sometimes I resented making sacrifices wondering “when is it going to be my time?” And surprisingly when I made that known, I was given room to get it. Its give and take and be willing to make compromises without having to sacrifice your passion forever.

The best thing out of it is that I now get to live my dream. Granted I had to wait awhile, but just think of all the color I will bring into my work through my growth and life’s experiences!

Making it in Hollywood is like a marriage.

My husband is now my best friend and in most cases my biggest supporter.  He is my anchor and I hope I’m his.

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